A couple of weeks ago I had the chance to go and see the Magnificent Seven movie directed by Antoine Fuqua. The movie follows the story of an exceptionally skilled group of fighters as they help a small town escape the clutches of an evil businessman. This businessman owns a small army and terrorizes the small mining town, oppressing its people and killing anyone who tries to stand up to him and his lackeys.
The first one recruited to the cause of helping the town is Sam Chisolm (Denzel Washington), a bounty hunter and all-around good guy with a mysterious past that haunts him. The next is Faraday (Chris Pratt) the obnoxious comic relief, Goodnight Robicheaux (Ethan Hawke) the Cajun, Billy Rocks (Byung-Hun Lee) the knife expert, Vasquez (Manuel Garcia-Rulfo) the outlaw, Jack Horne (Vincent D’Onofrio) the hunter and Red Harvest (Martin Sensmeier) the Comanche. All of these men make up the ensemble cast of the film. Each of them is skilled at some particular thing that sets them apart from the others and adds to the individual characters depth and overall characterization. And each character has something about them that adds a uniqueness and sentimental quality to their development. Chisolm is haunted by the murder of his sister at the hands of the villain. Faraday wants to be seen as a hero. Robicheaux has severe PTSD from the war. Billy and Red Harvest are foreigners in an ignorant world. Horne has brain damage from years of injury and Vasquez is fighting for freedom from the laws he broke. What makes this film special is that it somehow finds time to have seven main characters in a movie. Each character has their own origin, their own story, their own development throughout the film. And because they develop side-by-side, we see the friendship and chemistry develop between these characters and the actors themselves.
The movie itself has all the elements of a great action movie with its violence, suspense, excellent stunt work, comedic moments, explosions, epic fight scenes and heroic sacrifices. It takes these elements and blends them together in a story that makes sense, which flows well, gives the audience a chance to connect to the townspeople, the seven, and to absolutely hate the villain. It doesn’t have very many cheesy moments and it doesn’t have a happy, campy ending that resembles a Disney movie rather than a realistic western. And that’s what this movie is, a realistic western movie. There are a lot of very unhappy moments, very graphic moments, and very intense moments. The movie is very well made, progresses the plot well while also developing its characters, and blends it all into a really good story. But, it isn’t a family movie. It is PG-13 for its use of violence and action sequences. Even though I see it as a great movie and I really enjoyed it, I would not recommend taking children to see it because it is realistic in its violence and has many incredibly graphic moments. But, if you are not a child, I do recommend seeing this movie.
As always I encourage people to go and see a movie for themselves before they make any judgements on it. You never understand an experience until you’ve actually experienced it for yourself. So take the time to go and see this movie for a truly magnificent experience.